The Lonely Silver Rain
John D. MacDonald
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The Lonely Silver Rain (Travis McGee #21)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  1,690 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Keeping himself alive is something detective Travis McGee has always taken for granted -- until his search for a wealthy friend's missing yacht places him square in the center of the international cocaine trade. Following a trail that leads him from Miami's lavish penthouse suites to a remote village in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Travis finds himself the target of some of...more
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Published (first published 1985)
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Emilly Orr
Out of all the Travis McGee books, this one sticks with me, I come back to it, time and again. How often do we misinterpret symbols we see, how often do we act out of our own pain, not considering the pain of others? In and amongst the typical Fort Lauderdale settings of all wide-ranging McGee books, this one asks us to look at how we communicate, how we interpret what we see. How we reach those who are closed off from us. What happens when we're surprised, what happens when we hurt, what happen...more
The final Travis McGee novel. All things must come to an end and that it true for fictional characters as well (unless you're a comicbook superhero/villain).

In this final chapter of the McGee story there is a sense of McGee growing older and the realization that time moves on no matter how hard we try to hold it back. There is a touch of melancholy, but it is alleviated with the revelation that awaits at the end.

There is some debate whether MacDonald intended this to be the final McGee novel.M...more
Fittingly, last Travis McGee: entertaining, moving story...

We only recently "discovered" John D MacDonald, one of the most prolific authors of the 20th century, via his last non-series novel "Barrier Island". Having enjoyed it immensely, we wanted to try one of his famous Travis McGee stories, and just happened to stumble upon "Silver Rain", the very last in that series before the author's death. By now, McGee is late middle-aged, but still a macho bachelor able to fend for himself. He promptly...more
THE LONELY SILVER RAIN. (1984). John D. MacDonald. ****.
In this episode of the adventures of Travis McGee, we find Travis being approached by a friend of his who has had his boat stolen. Since Travis makes living from salvage rights, they reach an agreement that will give Travis 50% of the market value of the recovered craft. This is not a rowboat we’re talking about, but a fifty-four foot yacht that has been custom designed and built for a very wealthy man. Travis comes up with a clever plan on...more
Dave Hanna
I will admit that I would not have heard of Travis McGee were it not for Jimmy Buffett. I haven't been much of a mystery reader since I was in junior high, when I would consume Agatha Christie books, especially the Poirot ones. But I figured if Buffett was such a big fan of this character--and his author--I should at least check it out.

The Lonely Silver Rain is the 21st and, as it turns out, the last in the McGee series (MacDonald died shortly after this one was published). I have read several o...more
Harv Griffin
Jan 29, 2013 Harv Griffin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: novelists who want to up their game
Shelves: own, reviewed
pic of my copy of SILVER

What I like about John D. is that the writing in the Travis McGee series is consistently excellent from first to last. Donald Hamilton’s Matt Helm Series became disappointingly bloated mid-way through the series. Robert B. Parker’s Spenser and Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall novels became abbreviated toward the end: Robert B. would write a few words, and expect his readers to know him well enough to fill in the blanks.

Travis McGee novels are not the best or easiest “first read forget me” books but...more
Seemingly this was the last of the Travis McGee books, not that I knew it when reading the novel which was effortless enjoyment (apart from an odd coda at the end of the book when up turns a long lost relative.) I sped past the first hundred pages in one sitting, and the plot unrolled in a way that made you doubt it could have been written any better in a thousand attempts. Not that I like Travis McGee much, perhaps because the mental image I have of him resembles Dave Lee Travis, but MacDonald...more
Travis McGee, quests was to hunt for his friend Billy Ingram's yacht "Sundowner" was stolen and missing for three months. While searching "Sundowner" owned by his multi-million friend he thrust himself into an International drug trade in Miami, Florida, and he become their target. Found three dead body on board in "Sundowner" yacht who happened to hijacked it, and was using the yacht as a carrier conveying drugs from Cancun, Mexico to Miami.

Seemingly, one of the body found in the yacht was Gigli...more

In the beginning of the book, a friend comes to Travis with a problem: his boat has been stolen and he'd like McGee to recover it. It's a high-value job, one I thought would be complicated. I was expecting a long tale of island-hopping, following clue after clue to find the missing boat. But surprisingly, the boat was found early on in the book, with three bodies inside. The real story starts here.

Drugs, organized crime, intrigue, near misses, and nail-biting suspense follow. But...more
This is the last of the Travis McGee series and the only one I'll include here--though I've read and enjoyed them all. All the books have a color in title, "A Purple Place For Dying" and so on. These books are unlike most other detective type series books and McGee is unlike most other heroes. If they suffer a flaw it is that MacDonald liked to preach about ills of modern society, some times these digressions seem prescient, other times quaint or foolish, other times just plain annoying. They da...more
Mickey Bell
I read a lot about John D. McDonald in a book about writing. I was pretty interested in reading a book by him, but this one wasn't that great. The plot was nothing to write home about: a veteran crimefighter gets caught up in the cocaine trade? Unless it's Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, why would that really interest me all that much. Aspects important to me in this genre like villains, narrow escapes, worrying about the fate of the characters all fell flat.

This was the 21st and last of his Travis...more
Back in the day, I was a big John D. MacDonald fan, even subscribing to the "John D. MacDonald Bibliophile," a JDM fan magazine edited by Jean and Walter Shine. I read all the Travis McGees and many many other MacDonald novels and short story collections.
I recently came across a used paperback edition of Lonely Silver Rain, picked it up, started reading, and was again engrossed. Not having read it in 25 years, I happily found that, while the plot was vaguely familiar, it still held my interes...more
My very favorite Travis McGee book, and unfortunately his last. This book introduced some very compelling new insight into Travis, and exciting new story lines which were cut short when John D McDonald died a short time after its publication. I am so sorry to say goodbye to some of my favorite characters, but in my disappointment at the loss, I am very thankful for the time I had with them. RIP Travis, Meyer, and especially John D McDonald and thank you.
Nancy Moore
I've read all of this series and loved every one. I read them in order - I always read a series in order, in fact, I'm compulsive about it - because I like to follow the character's life and the author's writing as they both grow. Mr. MacDonald never disappointed - each one is a great thrill ride and they got better each time. Read my review on "The Deep Blue Good-by" to meet Travis, and get ready for some great reading!
This is the last title in a 21 book series. I’m glad I saved it for last. MacDonald was working on a 22nd title at the time of his death, but this book offers such a satisfying last look at Travis McGee that I can’t imagine a better conclusion.
My father read all Travis McGee books and I read them when he was done. I was already a reader in HS but John D. MacDonald put me on the road of staying up late and ignoring important stuff, like my algebra studies in order to find out what happened next. Travis McGee is probably the reason I left the midwest and lived in ramshackle dwellings at the beach for years
Travis got a mite dark, slipping into something resembling depression here and since I'm old myself I could relate. He was aware of...more
Joy Hale
Dec 18, 2007 Joy Hale rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: If you like Magnum PI
I love reading these...Travis McGee is a salvager who ends up salvaging more than just boats....laid back but capable...a man's man and a woman's heartbreaker...nothing spiritual, but deep...
Nancy Vala
I like to read certain magazines and books to find out about men and what they think. Esquire, GQ, and every single one of the Travis McGee series by John D MacDonald, each book with a color in the title. This is the last book and my favorite one. It is more introverted, reflective, melancholy, even while keeping the adventure and suspense and action going strong with some genuinely funny moments.

I also re-read these books when I get in the mood to learn something about the craft of writing. On...more
It’s hard not to find intimations of mortality in a novel you know was the last in a great, great series. THE LONELY SILVER RAIN came out in 1985, author John D. McDonald died in Dec. 1986. RAIN wasn’t McDonald’s last published novel, but it was the last (and 21st) to feature the incomparable Travis McGee. The plot is unexceptional. It involves McGee--who was trying to retrieve a stolen custom cruiser per his usual fee arrangement--stumbling upon three fly-swarmed corpses and getting caught in t...more
Mike Billington
When I first moved to Florida in 1984 to take a job at the Palm Beach Post my bureau chief, knowing I was a native Northeasterner, suggested I read some of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee books to get a feel for what it's like to live in the Sunshine State. I took her advice and quickly became hooked on the McGee novels. "The Lonely Silver Rain" was his last book - he died not long after it was published - and in my mind it is the best of his McGee stories and that's saying a lot. McGee is old...more
One of my favorite McGee stories and sadly, the last one that John D. MacDonald wrote. I have enjoyed rereading all 21 books in this series this summer and they brought back memories of reading these 25 years ago.

The story brings McGee into the explosive world of drug trafficking in Florida in the 80's and yet it seems it could be just like that today. In a bit of a departure, McGee is on a list to be killed and many take their shot at him....but he survives!

A good story - some wonderful charact...more
Goodbye, Travis. Even though we can't know if MacDonald knew it was the last, he closed the series in a fitting fashion. What a pleasure it has been reading these 21 books this past year.

I'm looking forward now to dipping into the standalone books. John D. was a great thriller writer, and more. A keen commentator on America in the mid-twentieth century and brilliant at creating believable, different characters for every story.
Aug 06, 2013 Chuck rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chuck by: Phil Henry
John D. McDonald was the author of seventy-eight books during his writing career which ended upon his death in 1986 from complications from a previous heart surgery. He is the one most credited as an inspiration by many of today's mystery writers. Of his 78 books, he is most famous for his 21 volume Travis McGee series of which this was his final effort before his death. I have read nine of his books and have enjoyed each. When I read prolific writers like Sandford, L'Amour and McDonald, I rarel...more
The series goes out on a solid note, but I prefer the earlier novels. Maybe I should bump up my Deep Blue Good Bye review up a star. I never thought any of these were exceptional, but the McGees are consistent in quality. I never miss a chance to buy a stack at any garage or library sale.
An enjoyable revisit to the last novel of MacDonald's series, an unintentional valedictory, as it was followed by his unexpected death. Recently having revisited the first two novels of the series where I had found the dialogue and attitudes of the characters dated and off-putting, both of these factors were very different by the publication of this, the 21st novel in the series, in 1985.

An interesting mystery, enjoyable characters, thrilling action, and Travis risking all to satisfy his need to...more
Mary Kay Thompson
Always loved the Travis McGee series and this one was amazing too.

Very well written with characters that leap off of the page.

Thank you John D McDonald!
An interesting story which had a mix of hard-boiled detective and feel-good misunderstood man in it. My biggest criticism is the appearance of Meyer on the third page of the book who was not explained until much later. Since he was a minor character, a simple descriptive phrase such as "my oldest friend" upon his introduction might have made his early appearances less puzzling and bothersome. Perhaps he was explained in another book. Anyway, it kept interrupting the flow of the story for me.

A fine end to a great series.
Oct 16, 2011 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crime fiction and Travis McGee fans
What can you say about John D. MacDonald that hasn't been said before.

If you like his stuff, you know he never disappoints. This story is no exception. In the process of trying to find a friend's yacht he gets tangled up with a bunch of really mean cocaine drug dealers. He simultaneously is intrigued by a series of cat-shaped pipe cleaners that are left on his houseboat

With the usual amount of brutal introspection, McGee solves both mysteries.

A fine example of MacDonald's writing talents.
A classic, vintage Travis McGee. Apparently a while back a very popular series - at least in the US. But maybe not so in Europe since I don't think I had read any of the series before. This is the last book of the series, and supposedly the best. A solid 3,3-3,5 stars. Classic, nearly vintage style of a good guy/bad guy hunt, and it'd be easy to imagine as a film. McGee has an awesome sense of humor, and there were a bunch of interesting, dark characters and death like plague...
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John D MacDonald was born in Sharon, Pa, and educated at the Universities of Pennsylvania, Syracuse and Harvard, where he took an MBA in 1939. During WW2, he rose to the rank of Colonel, and while serving in the Army and in the Far East, sent a short story to his wife for sale, successfully. After the war, he decided to try writing for a year, to see if he could make a living. Over 500 short stori...more
More about John D. MacDonald...
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“At times it seems as if arranging to have no commitment of any kind to anyone would be a special freedom. But in fact the whole idea works in reverse. The most deadly commitment of all is to be committed only to one's self. Some come to realize this after they are in the nursing home.” 10 likes
“When you look at pictures of people you know are dead, there is something different about the eyes. As if they anticipated their particular fate.It is a visceral recognition. I told myself I was getting too fanciful and went to bed.” 4 likes
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